Factors affecting the process of rallying a small group
The emotional attractiveness of the members of the group. It should be noted that this parameter alone does not provide either effective joint activities or high group cohesion. However, without the emotional appeal of people it is difficult to create a cohesive group.
Similarity of group members to each other. It can be different aspects of similarity: age, social, ethnic, etc. But the most important is the value similarity, closeness of views and social orientations of the members of the group, because in this case the psychological mechanism comes into effect. It consists in the fact that the closer someone else's opinion is to one's own opinion, the more sympathetic is the person who expresses this point of view. And vice versa: people tend not to notice differences and contradictions with the position of an attractive person. The same phenomenon works in the group: a person tends more towards the group whose views and values he shares, and in which his own views find support.
The group's preferred mode of interaction and the leading social motive of the group members.
Cooperation is the reason for the group's consolidation, because it contributes to the emergence of a number of important and attractive phenomena for the group members:
o with the cooperation and motivation of cooperation, the number of intra-group conflicts decreases, and there are all conditions for the successful resolution of the arising objective contradictions;
o cooperation promotes free and open communication of people, stimulates rapprochement of opinions, enhances the exchange of information between partners;
o cooperation provides mutual support for actions, because only joint efforts can lead each member of the group to personal success;
o the cooperation between the members of the group promotes the unity of the whole group.
However, competition between groups in certain activities contributes to the internal rallying of participating groups. However, it is important to remember one danger: intergroup competition can lead to the emergence of intergroup aggression and rejection of each other's group members, which in no way should be tolerated.
Features of group goals. The goals set by the group or in front of the group by the supervisor help the team to rally if they meet the needs of the group members, can be accepted by them as their personal goals (ie, each participant sees personal meaning in what the entire group does), and also if the group can count on success in achieving the goal.
An important characteristic of the group goal should be the clarity and unambiguousness of its formulation. Abstract global goals that are not specified in particular tasks (to become harmoniously developed people, to become friendly and united, etc.), substitution of the goal with a means (achievement of a specific evaluation result) do not bring the desired effect.
The objective of the activity in the event that it can indeed serve as a source of the activity of the individual and the factor of uniting the group must meet the following requirements:
o The goal must be finite, i.e. have a clear result, the achievement of which is not very drawn in time from the moment the goal is adopted;
o The goal should be clear, specific and understandable to each member of the group. It is necessary to check whether all members of the group understand the meaning and purpose of what is happening;
o The goal should be technological, i.e. contain the means available to members of the group to achieve it;
o The goal should be personally attractive to each member of the group, and for this purpose contain any particular goals and means that are interesting or accessible to him. Activities organized in the course of performing tasks should require from each those skills that he has especially developed or that he would like to develop in himself.
Satisfaction of the group and each of its members with group activities and their position in the group. The higher the satisfaction of participants in the activities of the group and themselves, the more the group will be rallying. In turn, satisfaction occurs when a number of conditions are met.
The nature of the leadership and decision-making style that characterizes the group. It is known that the collegial, cooperative leadership style and the opportunity for each member of the group to participate in the development of a common solution contribute to the rallying of the group.
We note that cohesion is an important characteristic of the group's condition, since a cohesive group not only represents a more efficiently functioning single organism, but has a greater appeal for each member. The cohesive group is characterized by the strengthening of mutually satisfactory communication between participants, the proximity of opinions and value orientations, which allows a person to feel comfortable. In the group of high level of cohesion, self-esteem of a person grows, the level of his anxiety decreases and, in addition, the effectiveness of any forms of activity of such a group increases.
Formation of group cohesion and communication in a small group (according to M. A. Vasilik). Communication in a small group is a way of doing things that facilitates the mutual adaptation of people's behavior. Consequently, the essence of communicative activity is the establishment of such cooperation, when the behavior of each changes and to a certain extent is regulated by the fact of participation of other individuals. Communication in a small group is an exchange that provides cooperative mutual assistance, making it possible to coordinate movements of great complexity. The integral characteristic of a system of intra-group relationships is the degree of cohesion, the index of which can be the frequency or degree of coincidence of the opinions, assessments, attitudes and positions of the group member in relation to the objects most significant for the group as a whole. "
Cohesion is a key concept of the theory of group dynamics developed by Levin. Cohesion is defined by him as a "total force field" that causes the members of the group to stay in it. The group is more united, the more it meets the needs of people in emotionally saturated interpersonal relationships. In cohesive groups an atmosphere of attentive attitude and mutual support is created, a sense of group identity is formed among its members. Cohesion also engenders emotional attachment, acceptance of common tasks, provides stability to the group even in the smallest group of circumstances, promotes the development of common standards that make the group stable despite the different directions of individual aspirations.
One of the main places of the mechanism of formation of group cohesion belongs to group pressure. As a result of his actions, the individual submits to the group in the situation of conflict between the opinion of the individual and the group's opinion. This degree of subordination of the individual to group pressure was called conformism (see above) or conformal behavior. For the first time, the model of conformal behavior was studied in experiments by S. Ash in 1951
Specific case of conformism, a kind of conformism "inside out", is negativism - the behavior of the individual who opposes the opinion of the group even under the pressure exerted on him. However, in this case, the dependence on the group continues to exist and manifests itself in the form of active production of anti-group behavior, an anti-group position. In other words, the individual continues to bind to the group view, albeit with a minus sign.
In the conformality studies carried out by M. Deutsch and G. Gerard, two types of group influence were singled out:
normative, when pressure exerts a majority and its opinion is perceived by a group member as a norm;
- informational, when the pressure can be a minority, the members of the group view this view as information on the basis of which he himself must make his choice.1
Normative conformism implies the need to obey the group in order not to be rejected, to maintain good relations with the group members or to earn their approval.
Information Impact occurs when the situation is ambiguous and the opinions of others can be a valuable source of information. It is interesting to note that after a person has agreed with a particular group, he has a rather strong need to justify the chosen decision.
As we see, conformism manifests itself not only in situations of strong influence of the group, but also when a person feels incompetent, when the task that he needs to solve seems to him too difficult and he tries to avoid possible mistakes.
Group cohesion from the point of view of communication processes in a small group was also investigated by L. Festinger. Cohesion was analyzed by him on the basis of data on the frequency and strength of the communicative connections disclosed in the group. The concept of cognitive dissonance became the central concept by means of which analysis was carried out. the individual's awareness of the opposite of his beliefs to the opinion of another person or group.
According to L. Festinger, the processes of social communication and social influence are closely related to the processes of the emergence and elimination of cognitive dissonance. For an individual, a social group is both the main source of cognitive dissonance, and the main means of reducing it or even completely eliminating it. So, the information received in the process of communication can contain elements that are discordant with the individual's view of any problem or situation. The most effective way to eliminate dissonance between the views of the individual and the group is to adopt a set of cognitive elements that correspond to the group's point of view. And the dissonance caused by the clash of opinions depends on the following factors:
- The number of cognitive elements of the individual's opinion, coinciding with the opposite opinion. The more consonant relationships, i.e. The more the number of coinciding cognitive elements of the two opinions expressed, the less dissonance caused by disagreement. Thus, the quantitative characteristic determines, ultimately, the degree of disagreement.
- The importance of cognitive elements included in dissonance. The more important the element is, the more dissonance will be. So, the more significant the problem is for an individual or a whole group, the more important will be the cognitive elements that indicate the existence of other views on this problem, and the greater will be the dissonance caused by the expression of disagreement.
- The authority of a person or group expressing the opposite point of view. Dissonance becomes greater if the opposite opinion is expressed by a person or group recognized as authoritative.
According to the view of L. Festinger, if dissonance exists, there is also a desire to reduce it. At the same time, more dissonance, the desire to eliminate it more strongly.
Ways to reach consensus in groups:
- an independent change in the subject's opinion on the more common. It is the prevalence of opinion is a prerequisite for reducing dissonance;
- changing the subject's opinion through influence;
- the assertion of the superiority of one's own opinion. Simultaneously L. Festinger draws attention to the possibility of using the individual processes of social influence and communication to reduce dissonance. A person will make efforts to get the approval of the members of the group. He will try to find those who adhere to a similar point of view, or to influence the opinions of others. Moreover, attempts at influence will be directed mainly to those members of the group who show the greatest degree of disagreement, since the more acute the differences, the greater the dissonance in the mind of the individual.
Mediocre aspects of life and communication in a small group
The spatial arrangements of the group members influence the development of intra-group interaction, in particular, its communicative side. According to the experimental data of R. Sommer, there is a relationship between the spatial arrangement of people in a certain room and their interaction and attraction.
The proximity of the location of people from each other affects the strengthening of communication, the growth of attraction and friendly relations. As a rule, people are placed in space not in a random order. In most situations, one can note the attraction of people to those who evoke sympathy, and the desire to distance oneself from those who do not cause the need to communicate. However, this does not happen in groups with a strong decision-maker who strictly controls communication flows.
Location in the group space and communication. The choice of group members in a group space in a group space shows a certain relationship between the spatial position and the status of the owner. In particular, the position at the intersection of intra-group communications gives its possessor the opportunity to control group processes, and therefore, the opportunity to increase his status, to become a leader.
In any small group, there is also a prevailing "emotional atmosphere", on which the group members' well-being and their actions often depend. Accordingly, actions consistent with the dominant mood, are greatly facilitated. Quite often, the existing and existing autonomous group negatively perceives the accession of new people, assessing it as an intrusion into the communicative network formed in this group.
Thus, environmental factors prove to be an important element of analysis, since it is impossible to give an adequate interpretation of communicative processes in a group, without taking into account the specific conditions of their flow.
The shape of the table and the communication. It was experimentally revealed: sitting at a square or rectangular table, the members of the group often exchanged information with partners opposite to them, rather than neighbors. On the basis of these data, I made an important practical conclusion about the desirability of placing participants in a group discussion at a small round table in order to ensure an even communication.
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